SORSOGON. — Coming out of nowhere, Mark Julius Bordeos of Bicycology-Army made his presence felt Sunday by ruling the opening stage of the LBC Ronda Pilipinas 10th anniversary race that started and ended in this Bicolandia city.
Bordeos, 24, stuck it out with the big guns then made a move in the stretch to edge Jerry Aquino, Jr. of Scratch It, Rustom Lim of 7Eleven Cliqq-Air21 by Roadbike Philippines and George Oconer of Standard Insurance-Navy in a mad dash to the finish to claim top honors in the 129.5-kilometer Stage 1.
All four clocked three hours, six minutes and seven seconds in the opening leg of the annual race presented by LBC and supported by the Manny V. Pangilinan Foundation, with P1 million going to the individual champion.
“I just stayed behind them and pulled away in the last 500 meters. I knew I can do it because I’m in top shape,” said Bordeos, an army man from Laoac, Pangasinan.
Mark Galedo of 7Eleven, the 2012 champion who is back after a four-year absence, towed a big group of breakaway riders but slowed down in the end and settled for fifth in 3:06:10.
“It would have been a nice race if they had given their share but I was disheartened that no one did so I just decided to just slow down a bit,” said the 34-year-old Galedo, who took the mountains classifications lap.
Jan Paul Morales of Standard, seeking to become the first three-time winner of the race, checked in with Aiden James Mendoza, Marcelo Felipe and Mervin Corpuz and Celeste Cycling Team’s Alvin Benosa with identical times of 3:06:19.
Go for Gold’s Daniel Ven Carino, Jonel Carcueva also got into the mix and ended up 12th in 3:07:01.
Standard’s Ronald Oranza, the last Filipino winner here two years ago, was with 7Eleven’s Nichol Pareja at 16th in 3:07:28 while Reimon Lapaza of Celeste, the 2014 titlist of who is also making a comeback, cracked the Top 20 by clocking 3:07:32.
In the team race, Standard seized command by amassing a total time of 12:24:55 while 7Eleven and Celeste Cycles were second and third in 12:27:26 and 12:27:35, respectively.
The 10-stage race supported by Versa, 8A Performance, Print2Go, Petron, Green Planet, Bike Xtreme, Standard Insurance, Spyder, CCN, Lightwater, Prolite, Guerciotti, Black Mamba, Boy Kanin, Vitamin Boost, NLEX-SCTEX, Maynilad, 3Q Sports Event Management Inc., LBC Foundation and PhilCycling resumes Monday with a 150.6km Sorsogon-Legazpi Stage 2.